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DVD Review

Naruto: The Lost Story
Mission: Protect the Waterfall Village


Starring (voice): Chie Nakamura, Junko Takeuchi and Noriaki Sugiyama
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 15
Available 03 March 2008

Naruto and Team 7 are sent off on a mission to escort Shibuki back to his village, which hides itself behind a waterfall. Though Shibuki is head of his village, he is not the brave man that his father was. Things start to go wrong when rogue ninjas target Shibuki and his village in an effort to steal the ‘Hero’s Water’. Only Naruto and team 7 stand in the way of their plans...

Naruto: The Lost Story - Mission: Protect the Waterfall Village (2004, 40 min 52 sec) is really a show for those who want to complete their Naruto collection. It is a simple story of Naruto defending the village from the former village Jonin Suien and is, very much, a by the numbers piece of anime work.

The story lacks character development except for Shibuki (isn’t that out of a song from Family Guy which itself was a homage to the Hollywood musical The Music Man?) who, following Naruto, inevitably finds the courage to fight. Inevitable is the best way to describe this story. The bad guys are unredeemable and bad to the bone. The good guys are full of heroism and courage. There are a number of minor fights with the requisite number of ninja moves which leads to the big boss fight. The zany humour is still there, a trade mark of the regular show and depending on your perspective it’s either the funniest thing you ever heard or puerile drivel.

The main feature is presented in 4:3. The animation is surprisingly only up to television standards, which is unusual for an OVA - which is usually a chance for the show's creator to do something unusual with either the look of the show or the characters. This just felt like an extended episode.

The audio options are good allowing you to choose from English or Japanese stereo and 5.1, with subtitles for the Japanese track. For extras you get five trailers and a Naruto short Find the red four-leaved clover (2003, 17 min 03 sec) which is a simple story of Naruto being given a mission by Konohamaru to get the clover so that he can win the heart of a girl he loves. The short is presented in 4:3 in the original Japanese with no English track, a fun if fluffy extra. This is the first time that this story has been available outside Japan.

So one for the fans, who I’m sure will love it, especially with the inclusion of the clover story. But, as a stand alone piece of anime, it’s a bit on the dull side. Move along now, nothing to see here that you haven’t already seen.


Charles Packer

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